- Men's Health & Wellness
Vaginal Infections: Not Just a Female Problem
Any men coming across this hub might wonder where I'm going with this one. After all, men don't have a female anatomy, so how can they be affected by vaginal infections? These type of infections can be spread easily between sexual partners so men can pick up an infection if a partner also has it As an aside, it's also possible to develop infections like thrush without having had any sexual partners at all but for the purpose of this hub, we'll stick to discussing infections that can be passed on from a female partner).
Here are some of the most common vaginal infections that can also affect men, and the symptoms to be aware of.
As with females, thrush is a harmless problem but it can be incredibly irritating. Common symptoms include soreness and red spots on the head or foreskin of the penis. A discharge may also be present. The overriding symptom will usually be an intense itching that can quite literally drive you up the wall. You may experience a burning sensation when you go to the toilet (similar to cystitis symptoms in women).
Just like female thrush, the problem can be treated with anti-fungal tablets and creams. If a female partner gets thrush, it's a good idea to treat yourself too (and vice versa if you get it) given how easily the infection can be transferred from one partner to another. If one partner doesn't treat themselves, there's a chance that you could just keep swapping the infection backwards and forwards without fully treating the problem.
This is an extremely common sexually transmitted infection and are has no symptoms, which makes it hard to know if you've got it. If men do get symptoms, they'll commonly take the form of discharge and a burning sensation while urinating but you may also experience pain and swelling in the testicles or burning/soreness around the opening to the penis. It's treated using prescription oral medication.
With this sexually transmitted infection, symptoms usually occur within days of having sex with an infected partner but it's also possible to develop symptoms many months afterwards. For men, common symptoms include a pus-like discharge from the penis, pain and sometimes, a strong burning sensation when urinating. If it's the rectum that's infected, symptoms can include discharge, itching, and painful bowel movements that may be accompanied by blood in the stools. Generally speaking, antibiotics are prescribed as treatment but for more complicated and advanced cases of infection, multiple antibiotics may be needed.
This infection is usually of the sexually transmitted variety, so it's another one that can be picked up from someone else. Women can develop this STD from both men and other women, but men are usually only affected by females.
It can affect both men and women, but women are more likely to experience symptoms. Infected men who do show symptoms will usually experience irritation, a slight discharge and a burning/stinging sensation after going to the toilet or ejaculating.
For some men, the infection will disappear by itself within a few weeks of developing but as the infection itself hasn't been dealt with, there is a still a good chance that you can infect a female partner so it's best for both partners to be treated to avoid the possibility that you'll just keep re-infecting each other. It's diagnosed through a physical examination and laboratory tests and treatment takes the form of oral medication, often just a single dose.